Age Discrimination in the Labour Market and Policy Responses: The Situation in the United Kingdom*
This article discusses recent research into British employers' attitudes and behaviour towards older workers and puts this in the context of developments in public policies towards older workers over the last decade. Research points to discrimination against older workers in most aspects of firm behaviour, even though when asked, managers in various studies also highlight positive attributes of older workers. Despite a recent proliferation of U.K. research in this area, it is difficult to gauge the extent of direct and indirect discrimination amongst older workers. Moreover, methodological differences make comparisons between studies problematic and it is difficult to examine trends in attitudes and behaviour. Regarding public policy, until recently policymakers focused on awareness raising campaigns among employers. While there is some evidence of increasing awareness of the issue, there is little evidence that the actual practices of employers are changing. Significant change can only be a long-term goal and would require going beyond national awareness-raising campaigns to working directly with sector bodies, trade unions and individual firms. It will also require integrated policymaking, something that the U.K. government appears to be working towards. The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance (2003) 28, 612–624. doi:10.1111/1468-0440.00249
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